Ask the Rabbi: Can the husband or mother of a woman in labour accompany her on Shabbat in a taxi or ambulance to hospital if she is afraid to go alone?

By admin, posted on June 4, 2009 - י"ב סיון תשס"ט at 10:28 am.

The late Rabbi Moshe Feinstein ruled that a woman in labour is regarded as being dangerously ill for whom Shabbat may be desecrated in certain circumstances. Recent studies have shown that the presence of the husband/mother at the hospital during labour and delivery has led to a decrease of complications during the birth. Therefore if the childbearing mother requests their presence her mind will be set at ease and the possible danger to her life will be lessened. The added weight to the vehicle because of the extra occupant requires more petrol and would normally be prohibited, but because of the potential danger to life, this is allowed.